Couriers - 1910 Travel Guide
The courier of thirty years ago is practically unknown. He was a linguist who traveled with rich individuals or parties, and conducted them to the best hotels and saw to it that they paid the highest prices for everything, both in hotels and shops.
The courier was an unmitigated nuisance and has been largely done away with by the more general use of the English language, and by a more general knowledge of French by the average American and English traveler.
The courier's wages were as nothing compared with the commissions which he exacted from everybody with whom he came in contact. Occasionally, to give a suspicion of honesty, a portion of this commission would be disgorged to his employer.
In certain places in the Far East, couriers, or their equivalents, are now necessary, but they should never be engaged except on the recommendations of one of the great tourist agencies of world-wide reputation. It may be stated that the tourist agencies have been a very large factor in the disappearance of the courier.